An Overview of Gallbladder Surgery
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a medical procedure whereby the gallbladder is removed using specially designed instruments and a camera inserted through four small incisions in the abdomen. With a minimally invasive procedure, patients benefit from less discomfort, faster recovery and smaller scars.
Surgery Success Rate
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy has a complication rate of under 2%, which means it is as good as traditional gallbladder surgery when performed by experienced surgeons.
The Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy Procedure
There have been thousands of successful laparoscopic cholecystectomies performed in the United States. The procedure involves:
- Applying anesthesia
- Four incisions, one half-inch and the other three lesser than a half-inch are made around the umbilicus. The narrow plastic tubes or laparoscopic ports are placed in the incisions to allow safe passage of the laparoscope or laparoscopic camera and the three small instruments designed to delicately cut off the gallbladder from the liver as well as the bile duct.
- The surgeon can safely operate on the gallbladder with the aid of a monitor transmitting a video image of the internal organs.
- An X-ray or cholangiogram may be needed to determine the presence of bile duct stones.
- The incisions are closed following the successful removal of the gallbladder.
Opting for Traditional Surgery
On rare occasions, there may be excessive scarring in the affected area or the internal anatomy may not be clearly visible by means of a telescopic instrument. If this is the case, the surgeon may decide to continue with a traditional open surgery instead. However, in about 95% of such cases, the laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedure will be performed as planned. The traditional surgery is most often preferred for patients who are obese, have acute cholecystitis, have dense scar tissue from past surgeries, or those who bleed abnormally in the operation.
Risks Involved in Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy
Although complications are rare, there have been some cases of complications such as bleeding, bile leakage, infection, blood clots, pneumonia, and heart problems. Patients who suffer fever, yellow eyes or skin, pain in the abdomen, nausea and vomiting, distention, or drainage from the incision should contact their surgeon immediately.
Surgical injuries to nearby organs rarely happen and require surgical repairs. Accidental or deliberate gallbladder openings release stones into the abdomen which can cause scarring.
Hospitalization and Recovery Period
Compared to traditional open cholecystectomy, which can require five days in the hospital for recovery, laparoscopic cholecystectomy patients may go home during the day of the procedure or the next day.
Depending on how the patient feels, it usually takes a week to resume normal daily activities. Patients are advised to walk regularly and may shower the day after the procedure. In most cases, patients resume work in 7-10 days. However, strenuous jobs such as heavy lifting or manual labor may need two weeks or even a month for full recovery.
Trusted Surgery Specialists
Bay Surgical Specialists is one of the most highly regarded clinics for procedures such as the Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. Their commitment to excellence has earned them recognition for being among the most qualified surgeons performing these procedures today. If you seek expert and compassionate care, make an appointment today for a consultation at Bay Surgical Specialists in St Petersburg, Florida.